Imágenes de páginas

ricfnage of his several palaces in various disguises. The two from the spirited example of his neighbour tenants on the excellent comic songs, entitled, “the Gaberlunzie man," and same estate, he is convinced similar exertion would promote “We'll gae nae mair a roving," are said to have been founded his advantage." upon the success of his amorous adventures when travelling The author requests permission yet farther to verify the subin the disguise of a beggar. The latter is perbaps the best ject of his poem, by an extract from the genealogical work of comic ballad in any language.

Buchanan of Auchmar, upon Scottish surnames :Another adventure, which had nearly cost James his life, “This John Buchanan of Auchmar and Ampryor was afteris said to have taken place at the village of Cramond, near wards termied King of Kippen, upon the following account: Edinburgh, where he had rendered his addresses acceptable King James V., a very sociable, debonair prince, residing as to a pretty girl of the lower rank. Four or five persons, Stirling, in Buchanan of Arnpryor's time, carriers were very whether relations or lovers of his mistress is uncertain, beset frequently passing along the common road, being near Arnthe disguised monarch as he returned from his rendezvous. Pryor's house, with necessaries for the use of the king's family; Naturally gallant, and an admirable master of his weapon, and he, having some extraordinary occasion, ordered one of the king took post on the high and narrow bridge over the these carriers to leave his load at his house, and he would pay Almond river, and defended himself bravely with his sword. him for it; which the carrier refused to do, telling him he A peasant, who was threshing in a neighbouring barn, came was the king's carrier, and his load for bis majesty's use ; to out upon the noise, and whether moved by compassion or by which Arnpryor seemed to have small regard, compelling the natural gallantry, took the weaker side, and laid about with carrier, in the end, to leave his load ; telling him, is King his fail so effectually, as to disperse the assailants, well James was King of Scotland, he was King of Kippen, so that threshed, even according to the letter. He then conducted it was reasonable he should share with his neighbour king in the king into his barn, where his guest requested a basin and some of these loads, so frequently carried that road. The cara towel, to remove the stains of the broil. This being pro- rier representing this usage, and telling the story, as Arnpryor cured with difficulty, James employed himself in learning spoke it, to some of the king's servants, it came at length to what was the summit of his deliverer's earthly wishes, and his majesty's ears, who, shortly thereafter, with a few attenfound that they were bounded by the desire of possessing, in dants, came to visit his neighbour king, who was in the mean. property, the farm of Braehead, upon which he laboured as time at dinner. King James, having sent a servant to demand a bondsinan. The lands chanced to belong to the crown; access, was denied the same by a tall fellow with a battleand James directed him to come to the palace of Holyrood, are, who stood porter at the gate, telling, there could be no and enquire for the Guidman (i e. farmer) of Ballengiech, a access till dinner was orer. This answer not satisfying the name by which he was known in his excursions, and which king, he sent to demand access a second time; upon which answered to the Il Bondocani of Haroun Alraschid. He pre- he was desired by the porter to desist, otherwise he would find sented himself accordingly, and found. with due astonish cause to repent his rudeness. His majesty finding this method ment, that he had saved his monarch's life, and that he was would not do, desired the porter to tell his master that the to be gratified with a crown charter of the lands of Braehead, Goodman of Ballageich desired to speak with the King of Kipunder the service of presenting a ewer, basin and towel, for pen. The porter telling Ampryor so much, he, in all humble the king to wash his hands when he shall happen to pass the manner, came and received the king, and having entertained Bridge of Cramond. This person was ancestor of the Howi- him with much sumptuousness and jollity, became so agreesons of Braehead, in Mid-Lothian, a respectable family, who able to King James, that he allowed him to take so much of continue to hold the lands (now passed into the female line) any prorision he found carrying that road as he had occasion *under the same tenure. 1

for; and seeing he made the first visit, desired Arnpryor in a Another of James's frolics is thus narrated by Mr. Camp- few days to return him a second to Stirling, which he perbell from the Statistical Account :-“Being once benighted formed, and continued in very much favour with the king when out a-hunting, and separated from his attendants, he always thereafter being termed King of Kippen while he happened to enter a cottage in the midst of a moor at the foot lived."—Buchanan's Essay upon the Family of Buchanan. of the Ochil hills, near Alloa, where, unknown, he was kindly Edin. 1775, 8vo. p. 74. received. In order to regale their unexpected guest, the gude

The readers of Ariosto must give credit for the amiable feaman (i. e. landlord, farmer) desired the gudewife to fetch the tures with which he is represented, since he is generally conhen that roosted nearest the cock, which is always the plump- sidered as the prototype of Zerbino, the most interesting hero est, for the stranger's supper. The king, highly pleased with of the Orlando Furioso. his night's lodging and hospitable entertainment, told mine host at parting, that he should be glad to return his civility, and requested that the first time he came to Stirling. he would call at the castle, and enquire for the Gudeman of Ballenguich.

Donaldson, the landlord, did not fail to call on the Gudeman of Ballenguich, when his astonishment at finding that the king had been his guest afforded no small amusement to the merry

NOTE 3 Z. monarch and his courtiers; and, to carry on the pleasantry, he was thenceforth designated by James with the title of King of the Moors, which name and designation have descended

Stirling's tourer fmm father to son ever since, and they have continued in pos of yore the name of Snowdoun claims.-P. 229. session of the identical spot, the property of Mr. Erskine of Mar, till very lately, when this gentleman, with reluctance, William of Worcester, who wrote about the middle of the turned out the descendant and representative of the King of fifteenth century, calls Stirling Castle Snowdoun. Sir David the Moors, on account of his majesty's invincible indolence, Lindsay bestows the same epithet upon it in his complaint of and great dislike to reform or innovation of any kind, although, the Papingo:

? The reader will find this story told at greater length, and father, vol. iii. p. 37. The heir of Braehead discharged his with the addition in particular, of the king being recognized, duty at the banquet given to King George IV. in the Parlialike the Fitz-James of the Lady of the Lake, by being the ment House at Edinburgh, in 1822. -Ed. only person covered, in the First Series of Tales of a Grand 2 A small district of Perthshire.

“Adieu, fair Snawdoun, with thy towers high, in the castle park, is still called the Round Table. Snaw. Thy chaple-royal, park, and table round;

doun is the official title of one of the Scottish heralds, whose May, June, and July, would I dwell in thee,

epithets seem in all countries to have been fantastically Were I a man, to hear the birdis sound,

adopted from ancient history or romance. Whilk doth againe thy royal rock rebound.

It appears (See Note 3 Y) that the real name by which

James was actually distinguished in his private excursions, Mr Chalmers, in his late excellent edition of Sir David Lind was the Goodman of Ballenguich ; derived from a steep pass say's works, has refuted the chimerical derivation of Snaw- leading up to the Castle of Stirling, so called. But the epithet doon from snediling, or cutting. It was probably derived would not have suited poetry, and would besides at once, and from the romantic legend which connected Stirling with King prematurely, have announced the plot to many of my countryArthur, to which the mention of the Round Table gives coun men, among whom the traditional stories above mentioned tenance. The ring within which justs were formerly practised,' are still current.

The Vision of Don Roderick.

Quid digum memorare tuis, Hispania, terris,
Vox humana valet :-



picious and friendly kingdom, and terminates with

the arrival of the British succours. It may be farther Tue following Poem is founded upon a Spanish Tra- proper to mention, that the object of the Poem is less dition, particularly detailed in the Notes; but bears to commemorate or detail particular incidents, than ing, in general, that Don Roderick, the last Gothic to exhibit a general and impressive picture of the King of Spain, when the Invasion of the Moors was several periods brought upon the stage. impending, had the temerity to descend into an an I am too sensible of the respect due to the Public, escient vault, near Toledo, the opening of which had pecially by one who has already experienced more than been denounced as fatal to the Spanish Monarchy. ordinary indulgence, to offer any apology for the infoThe legend adds, that his rash curiosity was mortified riority of the poetry to the subject it is chiefly designed by an emblematical representation of those Saracens to commemorate. Yet I think it proper to mention, who, in the year 714, defeated him in battle, and re- that while I was hastily executing a work, written duced Spain under their dominion. I have presumed for a temporary purpose, and on passing events, the to prolong the Vision of the Revolutions of Spain task was most cruelly interrupted by the successive down to the present eventful crisis of the Peninsula; deaths of Lord PRESIDENT Blair,and Lord Visand to divide it, by a supposed change of scene, into count Melville. In those distinguished characters, Three Periods. The First of these represents the I had not only to regret persons whose lives were Invasion of the Moors, the Defeat and Death of Rode- most important to Scotland, but also whose notice and rick, and closes with the peaceful occupation of the patronage honoured my entrance upon active life; country by the Victors. The SECOND PERIOD em- and, I may add, with melancholy pride, who permitbraces the state of the Peninsula, when the conquests ted my more advanced age to claim no common share of the Spaniards and Portuguese in the East and in their friendship. Under such interruptions, the West Indies had raised to the highest pitch the re- following verses, which my best and happiest efforts nown of their arms; sullied, however, by superstition must have left far unworthy of their theme, have, I and cruelty. An allusion to the inhumanities of the am myself sensible, an appearance of negligence and Inquisition terminates this picture. The Last Part incoherence, which, in other circumstances, I might of the Poem opens with the state of Spain previous to have been able to remove.3 the unparalleled treachery of BUONAPARTE; gives a sketch of the usurpation attempted upon that unsus EDINBURGH, June 24, 1811.

1 The Vision of Don Roderick appeared in 4to, in July 15, 1911, Scott says—“I have this moment got your kind letter, 1811 ; and in the course of the same year was also inserted in just as I was packing up Don Roderick for you. This pathe second volume of the Edinburgh Annual Register-whick triotic puppet-show has been finished under wretched auswork was the property of Sir Walter Scott's then publishers, pices ; pour Lord Melville's death so quickly succeeding that Messrs. John Ballantyne and Co.

of President Blair, one of the best and wisest judge that ever ? The Right Hon. Robert Blair of Avontoun, President of the distributed justice, broke my spirit sadly. My official situaCourt of Session, was the son of the Rev. Robert Blair, author tion placed me in daily contact with the President, and his of “The Grave.” After long filling the office of Solicitor-Gene- ability and candour were the source of my daily admiration. ral in Scotland with high distinction, he was elevated to the As for poor dear Lord Melville, ''tis vain to name him whom Presidency in 1808. He died very suddenly on the 20th May we mourn in vain.' Almost the last time I saw him, he was 1811, in the 70th year of his age; and his intimate friend, talking of you in the highest terms of regard, and expressing Henry Dundas, first Viscount Melville, having gone into Edin- great hopes of again seeing you at Dunira this summer, where burgh on purpose to attend his remains to the grave, was I proposed to attend you. Hei mihi! quid hei mihis humana taken ill not less suddenly, and died there the very hour that perpessi sumus. His logs will be long and severely falt here. the funeral took place, on the 28th of the same month. and Envy is already paying her cold tribute of applauso to the

3 In a letter to J. B. S. Morritt, Esq., Edinburgh, July 1, worth which she maligned while it walked upon earth."

The Vision of Don Roderick.











Yes! such a strain, with all o’er-pouring meaI.

sure, LIVES there a strain, whose sounds of mounting fire Might melodize with each tumultuous sound,

May rise distinguish'd o'er the din of war; Each voice of fear or triumph, woe or pleasure, Or died it with yon Master of the Lyre,

That rings Mondego's ravaged shores around; Who sung beleaguer.d Ilion’s evil star ?? The thundering cry of hosts with conquest Such, WELLINGTON, might reach thee from afar, crown'd,

Wafting its descant wide o'er Ocean's range; The female shriek, the ruin'd peasant's moan, Nor shouts, nor clashing arms, its mood could mar, The shout of captives from their chains unbound,

All as it swell’d 'twixt each loud trumpet-change, The foil'd oppressor's deep and sullen groan, That clangs to Britain victory, to Portugal revenge!“ A Nation's choral hymn for tyranny o'erthrown.

1 "The letters of Scott to all his friends have sufficiently "The poem was published, in 4to, in July; and the immeshown the unflagging interest with which, among all his per- diate proceeds were forwarded to the board in London. His sonal labours and anxieties, he watched the progress of the friend the Earl of Dalkeith (afterwards Duke of Buccleuch) great contest in the Peninsula. It was so earnest, that he writes thus on the occasion — Those with ampler fortunes never on any journey, not even in his very frequent passages and thicker heads may easily give one hundred guineas to a between Edinburgh and Ashestiel, omitted to take with him subscription, but the man is really to be envied who can draw the largest and best map he had been able to procure of the that sum from his own brains, and apply the produce so beneseat of war ; upon this he was perpetually poring, tracing the ficially and to so exalted a purpose.'"- Life of Scott, vol. iii. marches and counter-marches of the French and English by pp. 312, 315. means of black and white pins; and not seldom did Mrs. Scott

2 MS.~"Who sung the changes of the Phrygian jar." complain of this constant occupation of his attention and her

3 MS.—"Claiming thine ear 'twixt each loud trumpetcarriage. In the beginning of 1811, a committee was formed in London to collect subscriptions for the relief of the Portu

change." guese, who had seen their lands wasted, their vines torn up, 4 " The too monotonous close of the stanza is sometimes and their houses burnt in the course of Massena's last unfor- diversified by the adoption of fourteen-foot verse, a license tunate campaign; and Scott, on reading the advertisement, in poetry which, since Dryden, has (we believe) been altoimmediately addressed Mr. Whitmore, the chairman, begging gether abandoned, but which is nevertheless very deserving that the committee would allow him to contribute to their of revival, so long as it is only rarely and judiciously used. fund the profits, to whatever they might amount, of a poem The very first stanza in this poem affords an instance of it; which he proposed to write upon a subject connected with and, introduced thus in the very front of the battle, we canthe localities of the patriotic struggle. His offer was of course not help considering it as a fault, especially clogged as it is accepted ; and The VISION OF Don Roderick was begun as with the association of a defective rhyme-change, revenge."soon as the Spring vacation enabled him to retire to Ashestiel. Critical Review, Aug. 1811.

« AnteriorContinuar »